drank Breakfast Blend by Samovar
1183 tasting notes

In serious sleep deficit today and trying to get work done at home. Among the bonuses of working at home is total access to all tea-making equipment and all recent loose tea deliveries.

I wanted something black to keep me running, so I chose this to sample. And a fine choice it was. Unless I’m very much mistaken, the black tea here is at least in part the same as in the Earl Grey Lavender that I liked so much. It has the same malt/brown sugar/molasses aroma to the dry leaves, a true reproduction of which can be found in the scent of the tea after steeping, only richer, rounder and otherwise more developed.

If there was a crayon in the Crayola box labeled “Tea,” it would be this blend’s quintessential color: a warm mix of golden, brown, orange and red. (No offense to green tea drinkers intended; I’m just gambling that in Crayola nomenclature-speak your drink’s color would be called “Green Tea.”)

As this is my first non-bagged breakfast blend, I can’t compare it to others, but I can say that drinking it for breakfast would make me happy. Drinking it now is making me happy. It’s luscious. Compared to the bagged versions of English breakfast I’ve had, it is downright voluptuous. It’s what Awake wants to be.

Back to work I go with a smile on my face, and a pleasantly astringent sweet aftertaste on my tongue.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec

I love the crayon analogy! :)


With a 4 year old and a 6 year old at home I think in terms of crayons quite often. ;-)

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I love the crayon analogy! :)


With a 4 year old and a 6 year old at home I think in terms of crayons quite often. ;-)

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)


Bay Area, California



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